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[aprssig] WiFi for tracking ?

Keith VE7GDH ve7gdh at rac.ca
Tue Aug 14 01:41:14 UTC 2007

Rich (callsign?) wrote...

> In that vein, I just installed the TomTom 6 navigation software on my
> mobile phone. It has the extremely cool feature that you can have the
> GPS navigate you directly to a "buddy" who is also running TT6...

Just in case you weren't aware, APRS can do exactly that and it isn't
restricted to the other party having to have a particular mobile phone.
Think HamHUD, OT1+, Tracker2, T2-135 etc. not to mention those
that run something like UI-View while mobile on a laptop. There are
lots of options to allow APRS users to navigate to another APRS user.

> send them messages, etc. It uses your phone's data connection for all of
> this, of course.

That's great as long as your cellular provider isn't having any problems. If
it's working, use it. On the other hand, APRS users can do the same thing
without being dependent on the cellular network. The HamHUD can send and
receive messages. So can D7 and D700 users. Anyone with a T2-135 connected
to a PDA with a terminal program, or a dumb terminal, or a laptop running a
terminal program can send and receive messages. Anyone that is mobile with
something like UI-View, Xastir etc. with a radio and TNC connected can also
send and receive messages.

> For someone like me, who primarily uses APRS as a way
> of letting family members know where I am when I'm traveling, quite
> honestly, it blows the socks off of the Amateur APRS infrastructure as
> it exists today.

There are lots of different ways of "using" APRS. I'm sure there are many
people that use it exactly as you do. Just don't get to thinking that a
one-way tracker is the only way to use APRS. There are other options out
there, and more showing up all of the time. While the cellular network is in
many ways "more high tech" than APRS, I think that it is stretching it a bit
to say that it blows the socks off APRS.

Cell phones allow anyone that can afford to sign up for a cellular plan with
the provider of their choice to have a phone in their pocket... and do all
of the things that you described. APRS is yet another way for amateur radio
operators to use radio - both in normal times and in extraordinary times
when everything else around them has fallen apart due to some major
disaster - to use radio to communicate.Many APRS users carry cell
phones as well. If both are working, use them. If the cellular network is
down, hams will be there using radio including APRS to do what can't
be done when everything else has fallen apart.

73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
"I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"

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